FEMA bureau sends IT gear south to fire zone

The Homeland Security Department's emergency management agency directed officials in its Pacific Northwest regional office to send a convoy of disaster relief goods and personnel, including technology gear, south to California's wildfire zone.

"Yesterday afternoon, Region 10 deployed 24 emergency responders to the affected counties, and our Mobile Emergency Response System [MERS] detachment has sent a large convoy of support vehicles south toward California," said FEMA Pacific Northwest region administrator Susan Reinertson.

"MERS is setting up a 300-person Joint Field Office in Pasadena, Calif., and will provide communications and command and control support for additional forward operating sites located near front line firefighting positions," according to her prepared statement.

The FEMA Region 10 offices and equipment depots are located in Bothell, Wash. The region provides disaster relief and recovery aid to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state.

Like other FEMA regional offices, Reinertson's organization stands ready to help out in the case of disasters in other parts of the country, she said.
"Our experiences during past disasters have taught us to assume a proactive, forward-leaning approach," Reinertson said.

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